I've won the game of not taking myself too seriously.
April 11, 2016 11:24 AM   Subscribe

No more Mr. Nice guy - From Kenfig schoolboy to international drug importer via an Oxford education.
By the mid-1980s Howard Marks had 43 aliases, 89 phone lines and 25 companies operating throughout the world. Wiki is informative
As he said of himself I've won the game of not taking myself too seriously.
A Rhondda man recalls as does another welshman.

posted by adamvasco (16 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
mwg drwg!
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 11:36 AM on April 11, 2016

posted by foleypt at 11:50 AM on April 11, 2016

Wow, what a great story. Thanks!
posted by msalt at 11:52 AM on April 11, 2016

I don't want to be one of these pathetic, raving old men with a pony tail

Words to live by!
posted by sammyo at 11:52 AM on April 11, 2016

I only just heard of him on a recent Jordan, Jesse, Go! where Josie Long was gamely trying to explain how he managed to be a "famous drug dealer" to the very confused American hosts.

posted by Rock Steady at 11:54 AM on April 11, 2016

posted by philip-random at 12:09 PM on April 11, 2016

posted by threetwentytwo at 12:30 PM on April 11, 2016

posted by oneironaut at 12:32 PM on April 11, 2016

posted by daniel_charms at 12:45 PM on April 11, 2016

I enjoyed his book and seeing him live, he was a character. I always wondered how he related to his children.

He used to be a very regular feature at the club/bar/restaurant he was part owner of. He enjoyed being the avuncular man about club.
posted by asok at 2:06 PM on April 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Normally I might light a candle to mark someone's passing, but today at 420, I had a smoke in his honor. So long, esteemed Nice Guy, and thanks for all the weed.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:30 PM on April 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Arrghh. Mr Dawg you beat me to it. I was writing a post about this but you got in there first. But maybe I can add a small bit of colour to this story.

Back in the early 1970s we lived in a house in Oxford - number 46 Leckford Road. I was maybe 4 or 5 at the time and I recall coming home from school one day and being told by my mum that, instead of coming through the front door, we had to climb over the wall in the back garden to enter the house.

I found it all very amusing, as any 4 year-old would, and never understood the significance of the incident until many years later when my mum explained that we'd entered through the garden to avoid the crowd of journalists camped out around our front door. In fact there was a photo of her shaking her fist at them on the following day's local paper.

Why all the interest? Turns out they were there to ask questions about the disappearance of a Mr. Howard Marks - who, along with his girlfriend Judy, was our lodger at the time. For those who've read Mr. Nice, this was the point of the story where Howard had secured bail by putting his parents' house up as bond. He knew if he jumped bail they'd lose the house.... but if he was "abducted" by persons unknown - well, maybe they'd keep the house.

So, being Howard Marks, he faked his own abduction. He paid Dai, an old friend from South Wales to show up looking menacing. He knocked on the door, asked my Mum which room Howard lived in and then walked out again shortly after, keeping one hand in his coat pocket, with Howard in front of him looking scared.

It worked - for years my Mum thought she'd been witness to a gangland operation and told the police as much - and Howard dodged capture for the next 7 years.

True story.
posted by JohnnyForeign at 2:37 PM on April 11, 2016 [68 favorites]

posted by lalochezia at 3:56 PM on April 11, 2016

I mostly know him from his Never Mind The Buzzcocks performance.
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:02 PM on April 11, 2016

posted by Samuel Farrow at 9:04 PM on April 11, 2016

oh, this is my friend golly's dad. i met him ages ago in ibiza, he was really a laid back and groovy guy, as one might expect. anyway i suppose i should email her.

on preview: i just realized the long anecdote i typed out was actually about kris needs and not howard so never mind.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:45 PM on April 22, 2016

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